The world’s largest social networking site recently decided to shut down its initiative designed to help developers come up with unusual mobile apps, Creative Labs. In the meantime, the company removed Slingshot, Rooms, and Riff apps from Google Play and App Store.
The three apps are copycat versions of more popular smartphone apps: Slingshot tried to mimic Snapchat’s vanishing messages, Rooms was a semi-anonymously messaging app for groups just like Whisper, while Riff mimicked Snapchat’s video-editing software.
Slingshot however was only removed from app stores, so users who managed to download it can still use it, the company wrote on the app’s site.
Yet, Creative Labs’ website was shut down for good. Facebook recently confirmed that the apps were removed and noted that they weren’t updated for quite some time. A spokesperson for the company said that elements from the three apps were inserted into Facebook for iOS and other apps.
Apparently, the apps weren’t that popular so the company decided to ditch them, rather than try and fix them. Additionally, Facebook is now focused on other projects such as bringing Internet access to developing countries via drones, beefing up virtual reality headsets, and improving artificial intelligence technologies. The tech giant also revamped some of its tremendously popular app’s features in the meantime.
Creative Labs lasted for a couple of years, and developers often peeped at Facebook’s popular brain-storming sessions for app developers called “hackathons.” One of the apps born this way was Snapchat’s copycat Slingshot.
The app allowed users to ‘sling’ a video or photo to their followers, who either gave a quick reply or swiped it away into oblivion.
Nevertheless, the company was not very enthusiastic about Creative Labs apps from the very beginning. It estimated that in the best-case scenario they would have one billion users, and it failed to properly promote them.
When Slingshot was released a spokesperson said that Facebook planned for it to start as a small community that was expected to steadily grow.
Rooms will no longer exist as of Dec. 23. The service was an attempt to make the dull chat rooms of the 1990s more appealing. Users didn’t require a Facebook account to use the service where they chatted anonymously. They just needed an invitation to join in somebody else’s’ conversation.
Facebook vowed to never stop innovating and backing out-of-the-ordinary mobile apps such as Facebook Paper or Layouts photo editor.
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